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Crop Management

All Crop Management Content

Purple-brown caterpillar with orange head on a green corn leaf.

Common Stalk Borer Activity Update: May 30, 2019

Another cool, wet week has led to a limited accumulation of degree days. Based on our calculations, common stalk borer activity still doesn’t warrant any scouting, but spraying field edges should be avoided around Hot Springs, Winner and Vermillion.

A small green corn plant that has been cut and is laying on the ground.

Monitor Newly Emerged Corn for Black Cutworm Activity

There are several important insect pests that can severely injure corn during the early vegetative stages. One of these pests is the black cutworm. Although black cutworm caterpillars injure corn by feeding on leaf tissue, the serious damage occurs when caterpillar feeding results in the cutting of young corn plants.

Corn growing degree day tool for Brookings County, S.D. Options selected include 80-day maturity hybrid planted on June 10, and comparison with 2013 growing season accumulated growing degree days.

2019 Corn Growing Degree Day Update

Growth and development in crops are a direct response to accumulated heat units or growing degree days (GDD). The Corn GDD Tool at the High Plains Regional Climate Center can be a useful resource for not only estimating crop growth stage, but also for selecting hybrids within the appropriate maturity group.

A shiny caterpillar with a light brown head, dark brown body, and three yellow stripes down the length of its back.

Watch Corn for Bronzed Cutworm Activity

Bronzed cutworms are not a common pest of corn in South Dakota. However, they can become an issue when corn is planted into areas that were previously grassland. Like its name implies, bronze cutworms feed on corn above the soil surface, which often results in cutting or clipping.

a stretching field of green corn plants

Corn Production Costs in the Northern Great Plains

Supply and demand regulates U.S. agricultural and non-agricultural markets all the time. Prices increase when scarcity of a certain item is anticipated. Similarly, prices drop if the market is saturated because of oversupply or there is a reduced demand for the product.

Green corn leaf with common stalk borer caterpillar within.

2019 Common Stalk Borer Activity

Not too much is new regarding common stalk borer activity when compared to last week. Another cool, wet week has led to a limited accumulation of degree days. Based on our calculations, common stalk borer activity still doesn’t warrant any scouting. We will continue to monitor the degree days and provide updates.

Brown beetle with long snout.

2019 Alfalfa Weevil Activity

It was another cool week in South Dakota with not a lot of degree day accumulation occurring. Alfalfa fields should still be monitored for alfalfa weevil activity even though the cool wet weather might have slowed this pest down.

Teardrop shaped green insect with long legs and antennae on a lighter green leaf.

Scouting for Pea Aphids in Alfalfa

One of the insects that should be monitored for in alfalfa during the spring and early summer are pea aphids. Although we haven’t spotted any yet in 2019, the presence of pea aphids in alfalfa is common.

Sun rising over a vast spring landscape with green corn emerging from the soil.

Large Farms More Dominant in South Dakota Crop Production

Large farms play a more dominant role in South Dakota crop production, according to the recently released 2017 U.S. Census of Agriculture. As of 2017, large farms of more than 2,000 acres operate 66.8% of South Dakota total cropland aces compared to 47.7% as of 1997.

Group of red and black cattle eating silage from a feed bunk.

Delayed Planting Challenges: Late-Planted Corn and Cattle Feeding

With the challenges of getting crops planted this year many farmers are likely weighing their options and re-considering their planting intentions. For producers that can market feedstuffs through livestock (particularly cattle), it may be premature to completely abandon corn simply due to calendar dates.